Archive for Helena Bonham Carter

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Posted in Action/Adventure, Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this trippy sequel to the 2010 blockbuster “Alice in Wonderland,” young Alice returns from several years at sea and again passes through to the magical landscape, where she ends up journeying into the past to try to save the Mad Hatter.

What people are saying:

“A solid kids’ movie in the old style. One with something to say about something real – family and time- and a willingness to admit consequences, even as it serves up goofy humor, mild thrills, and slippy-slidey accents from slumming stars.” 2 stars

“It deviated from the actual book, but that doesn’t mean it was not entertaining. It had good messages about positive attitudes for women not to be victims of circumstance. A much needed improvement from much of the stuff many kids are watching now. ” 5 stars

“The charm found in the first Alice in Wonderland is definitely missing in the sequel. The story is a mix match of going in the past future time etc. The plot that is way too confusing for most children even some adults. The acting isn’t anything great most of the actors you can tell look like they’re in front of a green screen. Some of the special effects were nice and there’s some creativity to be found in this movie but in the end it just didn’t come together very well.” 2 stars

“I never read the Alice in Wonderland books, but I doubt this is one of them. Yes, it has that zany twisted quality you expect in Wonderland, but there is a theme running through the movie that gives it a scifi depth, “Why can’t I go back in time and change the past?” Most of the characters from the first movie are back and Cohen’s Time fits in Wonderfully. ” 5 stars

“the most offensive kind of film…one that spends an enormous amount of money yet seems to have nothing on its mind but money. You give it, they take it. And you get nothing in return but assurances that you’re seeing magic and wonder. The movie keeps repeating it in your ear, and flashing it onscreen in big block letters: MAGIC AND WONDER. MAGIC AND WONDER. But there is no magic, no wonder, just junk rehashed from a movie that was itself a rehash of Lewis Carroll, tricked out with physically unpersuasive characters and landscapes and ‘action scenes’, with blockbuster ‘journey movie’ tropes affixed to every set-piece as blatantly as Post-It Notes” 1 star

Revisited: Big Fish

Posted in Movie Reviews, Revisited with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

At his son’s wedding party, Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) tells the same tale he’s told many times over the years: on the day Will (Billy Crudup) was born, he was out catching an enormous uncatchable fish, using his wedding ring as bait. Will is annoyed, explaining to his wife Joséphine (Marion Cotillard) that because his father never told the straight truth about anything, he felt unable to trust him. He is troubled to think that he might have a similarly difficult relationship with his future children. Will’s relationship with his father becomes so strained that they do not talk for three years. But when his father’s health starts to fail, Will and the now pregnant Joséphine return to Alabama. On the plane, Will recalls his father’s tale of how he braved a swamp as a child after he was dared by a few other children. He meets a witch (Helena Bonham Carter). She shows Don Price and another boy how they were going to die. They run away, frightened. When the witch shows Edward his death in her glass eye, he accepts it without fear. With this knowledge, Edward knew there were no odds he could not face.

Edward continues telling tall tales, claiming he spent three years confined to a bed as a child because his body was growing too fast. He became a successful athlete, but found the town of Ashton too small for his ambition, and set off with the misunderstood giant Karl (Matthew McGrory). The witch with the glass eye is seen bidding him farewell. While traveling, Edward and Karl see two separate roads out of Ashton. Edward suggest they each take one way. He’ll take the old dirt road and Karl should take the new paved road. They will meet on the other side. Karl feared that Edward was attempting to abandon him, but Edward gives him his backpack to prove that he isn’t. After walking through a scary swamp, Edward discovers the hidden town of Spectre, where everyone is friendly to the point of comfortably walking around barefoot. Their shoes can be seen hanging from a wire near the entrance. When he enters the town he is greeted by the Mayor and his wife. The Mayor has a clipboard that says Edward was meant to be in their town but he had arrived early. He also tells him of the poet Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi) who was also from Ashton. While there Edward has an encounter with a mermaid. She swims away before he could see her face. Edward leaves because he does not want to settle anywhere yet, but promises to the town mayor’s daughter Jenny (Hailey Anne Nelson), who developed a crush on him, that he will return. He believed that he was fated to be there someday.

Edward meets up with Karl. They attend the Calloway Circus where Edward falls in love at first sight with a mysterious woman. Together, Karl and Edward begin working at the circus. Karl meets his destiny by working as the giant man, replacing the old one who is much smaller than him. Edward works without pay, as he has been promised by the ringmaster Amos Calloway (Danny DeVito), who claims to know the mysterious woman, that each month he will learn something new about the mysterious woman. Three years later, having only learned trivia about her, Edward discovers Amos is a werewolf. In return for his refusal to harm him in his monstrous state, Amos tells Edward the girl’s name is Sandra Templeton (Alison Lohman) and she studies at Auburn University.

Edward goes to Sandra to confess his love. He learns Sandra is engaged to Don Price (David Denman), whom Edward always overshadowed during his days in Ashton. Sandra refuses Edward’s proposal but that does not discourage Edward. He writes “I love Sandra” everywhere he could. Don arrived to challenge Edward to a fight over Sandra. Sandra makes Edward promise not to fight Don. Edward allows Don to beat him up. Sandra, disgusted by Don’s violence, ends their engagement and falls for Edward. Edward later reveals that Don died from a heart attack on the toilet bowl at an early age (as Don saw in the Witch’s eye). During his recovery, Edward is conscripted by the army and sent to the Korean War. He parachutes into the middle of a show entertaining North Korean troops, steals important documents, and convinces Siamese twin dancers Ping (Ada Tai) and Jing (Arlene Tai) to help him get back to the United States, where he will make them stars. He is unable to contact anyone on his journey home, and the military declares him dead. This limits Edward’s job options when he does return home, so he becomes a traveling salesman. Meeting the poet Norther Winslow (Steve Buscemi) from Spectre again, he unwittingly helps him rob a bank, which is already bankrupt. Edward explains this to Winslow, who then decides that he will work at Wall Street. Winslow later thanks Edward for his “advice” by sending him $10,000, which he uses to buy his family a dream house.

Still unimpressed by his father’s stories, Will demands to know the truth, but Edward explains that is who he is: a storyteller. Will finds Spectre, and meets an older Jenny (Helena Bonham Carter), who explains that Edward rescued the town from bankruptcy by buying it at an auction and rebuilding it with financial help from many of his previous acquaintances. Will suggests his father had been having an affair with Jenny, to which she replies that while she had indeed fallen in love with him, Edward could never love any woman other than Sandra. When Will returns home, he is informed his father had a stroke and is at the hospital. He goes to visit him there and finds him only partly conscious, and unable to speak at length. Since Edward can no longer tell stories, he asks Will to tell him the story of how it all ends: escaping from the hospital, they go to the river where everyone in Edward’s life appears to bid him goodbye. Will carries his father into the river where he becomes what he always had been: a very big fish. Edward then dies, knowing his son finally understands his love of storytelling.

At Edward’s funeral, Amos, Karl, Norther Winslow, and Ping and Jing arrive, making Edward’s stories real. Will finally realizes the truth of his father’s life for which his stories were embellishments. When his own son is born, Will passes on his father’s stories, remarking that his father became his stories, allowing him to live forever.

REVIEW:

With Big Eyes coming out soon and getting a bit of awards buzz, the spotlight is on director Tim Burton. A couple of critics that I regularly consult have been ripping the man a new one because they feel his style hasn’t evolved and he has become overrated. While there may or may not be some truth to this, Big Fish is one of his films that shows Burton is a capable filmmaker.

What is this about?

A reporter attempts to learn more about his dying father by finding the truth behind a lifetime of his tall tales and legends of epic proportions.

What did I like?

Soft light. In the flashbacks, I noticed a change in the lighting, especially when the camera was on Alison Lohman’s character. It was that soft light, and if I’m not mistaken they used what I call “the Vaseline filter” for even more dramatic effect. I have to say that it worked, because there is no question that she is the love of his life and the different look allows the audience to keep track of the past and present, just in case they can’t with the different actors.

Contrast. Tim Burton’s movies are perfect examples of how one can use light and dark tones together to make a quality film. In Edward Scissorhands, for instance, everything is bright and cheery, yet Edward is in a perpetual state of gray. With this film, Burton takes a “Southern gothic” story and inserts some fun tall tales into the proceedings causing an enjoyable result. I don’t believe this film would work as well had it been dark and dreary. The contrast is needed and appreciated.

Sweet home Alabama. I was talking to someone the other day about Southern accents in Hollywood and how hilarious it is that people from other countries tend to have the best versions, excluding those who have it naturally. Ewan McGregor, who is Scottish, if I’m not mistaken, gives a very convincing Alabama drawl when delivering both his lines and the narration. Is it accurate? Not being or lived in Alabama, I can’t tell you, but it is believable, which is more than can be said for many of his contemporaries who are don’t have to a)get rid of their UK accents and b)learn specific southern dialect.

What didn’t I like?

Run, Edward, run? I can’t remember exactly when this was released, but I know that it was after Forest Gump. What does that have to do with anything? Well, the basic plot of both films are very similar, making you wonder if Burton ripped off the idea. What is so similar? Both pictures feature someone detailing their life through a series of exaggerated stories. I could be totally off base here, but this just seems to be another case of Hollywood not having any originality left.

Cynical Manhattan. Does the name Billy Crudup ring any bells? No? Well, if you saw Watchmen, then you saw him in all his giant blue radioactive glory. In this film, he is the cynical, some say realistic, son of Albert Finney. With Finney’s character not long for this world, Crudup wants to get to know who the man really is and not a “series of lies.” Beside being some cynical, polar opposite of his father, I have to question why Crudup waited until his dad is on his deathbed to ask these questions. Was there something keeping him from inquiring when things were better?

Fantasy. As a fantasy film, this is not bad. I feel as if Burton was holding back and that perhaps some of the more fantastical elements ended up on the cutting room floor. For instance, Helena Bonham Carter’s character near the beginning of the film has a fake eye that shows people how they die. Seems to be that is something that would have been interesting to expand upon. How did she get this eye and why can it show such events? Is she a witch? Is she the character that she plays later in the film? I’m just saying that perhaps a little more fantasy would have been nice.

My best friend is a huge fan of Big Fish. She makes sure to let me know every chance she gets. For me, it is up there, but nowhere near as high as she has this ranked. The flaws are minor, but they do exist. The performances are great and the few effects we are privy to really compliment the picture. So, do I recommend this? Yes, very highly! For those that have been questioning the work of Tim Burton lately, this is one of his better, non-goth films that you should see (also check out Batman and Batman Returns). The man has talent. We just seem to have forgotten it with all the crazy goth stuff he’s done. I hope you enjoy this flick as much as I did.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Lone Ranger (2013)

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

At a sideshow in a San Francisco fair in 1933, a boy, Will, who idolizes a legend known as the Lone Ranger, encounters Tonto, an elderly Comanche Native American, who proceeds to recount his experiences with that Old West adventurer.

In 1869 Colby, Texas, lawyer John Reid returns home via the uncompleted Transcontinental Railroad, managed by railroad tycoon Latham Cole. Unknown to Reid, the train is also carrying Tonto and outlaw Butch Cavendish, who is being transported for his hanging after being captured by Dan Reid, John’s Texas Ranger brother. Cavendish’s gang rescues Butch and derails the train. Tonto is subsequently jailed. Dan deputizes John as a Texas Ranger, and with six others they go after the Cavendish gang.

Cavendish’s men ambush and kill their pursuers in a canyon and Cavendish cuts out and eats Dan’s heart. Tonto, who has escaped from jail, comes across the dead men and buries them. However, a white spirit horse awakens John as a “spirit walker,” and Tonto explains John cannot be killed in battle. Tonto also tells him Collins, one of the Rangers, betrayed Dan and is working with Cavendish, whom Tonto believes is a “wendigo.” As John is thought to be dead, he wears a mask to protect his identity from enemies. Tonto gives John a silver bullet made from the fallen Rangers’ badges and tells him to use it on Cavendish.

At a brothel Collins recently visited, Red Harrington informs them about Dan and Collins’ fight over a cursed silver rock. Meanwhile, Cavendish’s men, disguised as Comanches, raid frontier settlements. John and Tonto arrive after raiders abduct Dan’s widow and son, Rebecca and Danny. Regretting his earlier actions, Collins attempts to help Rebecca and Danny escape but is shot dead by Cole, who rescues them. Claiming the raiders are hostile Comanches, Cole announces the continued construction of the railroad and dispatches United States Cavalry Captain Jay Fuller to exterminate the Comanche.

A Comanche tribe captures John and Tonto soon after the pair finds railroad tracks in Indian territory. The tribe leader tells John of Tonto’s past: As a boy, Tonto had rescued Cavendish and another man from near-death and showed them the location of a silver mine, in exchange for a pocket watch. The men murdered the tribe to keep the mine a secret, leaving Tonto with great guilt.

Tonto and John escape as the cavalry attack the Comanche. At the silver mine, they capture Cavendish. Tonto demands that John use the silver bullet to kill Cavendish, but John refuses. Tonto attempts to kill Cavendish, but John knocks him unconscious and brings in Cavendish alive. Upon returning Cavendish to Cole and Fuller’s custody, Cole is revealed to be Cavendish’s partner. Fearing that if his actions are publicly revealed he’ll be charged as a war criminal, Fuller sides with Cole. Rebecca is held hostage, and John is taken back to the silver mine to be executed. However, Tonto rescues him and the two flee as the Comanche attack and are massacred by the cavalry. Realizing that Cole is too powerful to be taken down lawfully, John dons the mask again.

At the site of the union of the Transcontinental Railroad with two trains, Cole reveals his true plan: to take complete control of the railroad company and use the mined silver to gain more power. John and Tonto steal nitroglycerin and use it to destroy a railroad bridge. With Red’s help, Tonto steals the train with the silver and speeds it in reverse, and Cole, Cavendish, and Fuller pursue him in the second train on which Rebecca and Dan Jr. are being held captive. Riding Silver, John pursues both trains. After a furious chase and fights on both trains, both Cavendish and Fuller are killed, Rebecca and Dan Jr. are rescued and Cole dies buried beneath the silver ore after the train plunges off the severed bridge and into the river below.

The town and railroad enterprise recognize John (whose identity is still unknown to them) as a hero and offer him a law-enforcement position. John declines and accepts his new life as the Lone Ranger, and he and Tonto ride off. Back in 1933, Will questions the truth of the tale. Tonto gives him a silver bullet and tells him to decide for himself.

REVIEW:

A few years ago, I reviewed The Lone Rangera film that was a continuation of the TV series. Today, we see how well that character has withstood the test of time with the 2013 version of The Lone Ranger. Let’s not beat around the bush. This film had its fair share of setback before it even made it into production and then it got blasted by fans and critics, but was their vitriol warranted?

What is this about?

In this reboot of the 1950s television series, Native American warrior Tonto rescues wounded lawman John Reid and restores him to health, thus creating an often-contentious but effective partnership as they attempt to rid the Old West of corruption.

What did I like?

Origin. Unlike superhero films where the origin takes forever to be told, this film manages to basically inform us in the span of maybe 5-10 minutes. Granted, if there was a sequel, I’m sure Armie Hammer would be more comfortable in his role as the masked man, but for what its worth, he does a really good job with filling his predecessors shoes. Being only vaguely familiar with the classic TV series, I can’t tell you if any liberties were taken, but I can say that the spirit walker angle they took was a nice touch.

Villains. The villains are not only believable, but the one played by William Fichtner is almost scary, especially with the whole heart eating angle. On the one hand we have the corporate face of the railroad, who we don’t find out it a villain until a little bit later in the film. You know the type, he has everyone fooled until the truth is brought to light. Then, we have Fichtner’s character who is the most dirty, vile and evil being in the film. He has the look of an old west villain and his mannerisms fit perfectly into the setting. As far as his actions go, well, he eats hearts. Need I say more?

Catch that train! The train sequence that serves as this film’s climax is the best scene in the film. With the nonstop action, gunplay, explosion, and stunts, this scene manages to bring together. I was taken back to those old train robbery westerns watching this scene and wondered why most of the film wasn’t more of this instead of trying to tell some dramatic story.

What didn’t I like?

Length. It is well documented for disdain for lengthy films, especially when they make you feel like they are long. This is one of those that was pretty long and I’m not really sure why. The middle section really could have been taken out, if you ask me. The reason they decided to bring in a rather lengthy section that tore down Tonto and, as is commonplace in today’s films, left our hero doubting himself. Outside of the Tonto origin, there was really no reason for this and probably about another 30-45 minutes.

Depp. I have two complaints about Johnny Depp. First, the guy is very talented. We all can agree on that, but 1/16 Cherokee or whatever percentage of Native American he is doesn’t make up for the fact that Tonto should have been played by a Native American actor.  Also, what was up with the white face paint? Realizing that Depp is the name is fine, but come on, they could have cast him as another character and used an actual Native American to play Tonto. Speaking of him playing other roles, perhaps he should have been cast as the Lone Ranger because he was more the star than Armie Hammer was. It was so much that it made you wonder why this wasn’t just called Tonto.

Tone. This film has issues with the tone it wants to keep. In one scene there is a shootout that results in a guy eating a heart and then a little later we have a horse in a tree. It leaves the audience confused as to what they’re watching. Personally, I think the lighter tone works as the Lone Ranger is not a dark character, but the violent stuff works for the western aspect of this character. I just with the filmmakers would have taken the time to find a better balance with the tone, rather than making random shifts.

When you hear Rossini’s “William Tell Overture”, then you pretty much can be assured that there is a masked man coming to save the day, you’re watching “The Band Concert” with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, or you’re attending a band/orchestra concert. Thankfully, they left that theme in here, even it did go on a bit long at the end. That is what plagues The Lone Ranger more than anything. It takes one step forward and two steps back. I’m still trying to figure out what I think about old Tonto at the sideshow talking to this random kid. Final verdict on this film though is that it tries valiantly, but it just isn’t good enough. Having said that, it is nowhere near as bad as everyone would have you believe. With all its issues, this film is still a fun ride, and you should at least give it a shot.

3  1/4 out of 5 stars

Les Misérables

Posted in Movie Reviews, Musicals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1815, convict Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released on parole by prison guard Javert (Russell Crowe) after serving a nineteen-year sentence. He is offered food and shelter by the Bishop of Digne (Colm Wilkinson), but later steals the Bishop’s silver during the night. He is caught by the authorities, but the Bishop says that the silver was given as a gift, and secures Valjean’s release. Ashamed by the Bishop’s generosity, Valjean breaks his parole and vows to start an honest life under a new identity. Javert swears he will bring the escaped convict to justice.

Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Fantine (Anne Hathaway), one of his workers, is discovered to be sending money to her illegitimate daughter, Cosette (Isabelle Allen), who lives with the unscrupulous Thénardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) and their daughter Éponine (Natalya Angel Wallace), and is dismissed by the foreman (Michael Jibson). Left with no option, Fantine turns to prostitution. During an argument with an abusive customer, Javert, now a police inspector, arrests Fantine, but Valjean intercedes and takes her to a hospital.

Later, Valjean learns that a man believed to be him has been arrested. Unable to condemn an innocent man, Valjean reveals his identity to the court before departing for the hospital. There he promises a dying Fantine that he will look after her daughter. Valjean finds Cosette and pays the Thénardiers to allow him to take her, and promises to be like a father to her.

Nine years later, Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only government official sympathetic toward the poor, is nearing death. Students Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne) and Enjolras (Aaron Tveit), together with street urchin Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone), discuss fomenting revolution. Later Marius catches a glimpse of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), now a young woman, and instantly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, despite Cosette’s questioning, Valjean refuses to tell her about his past or Fantine.

At a café, Enjolras organises a group of idealistic students as Lamarque’s death is announced. Meanwhile, Éponine (Samantha Barks), now Marius’s friend, leads him to Cosette, where the two profess their love for one another. Lamenting that her secret love for Marius will never be reciprocated, Éponine fatalistically decides to join the revolution. Later, an attempted robbery of Valjean’s house makes him mistakenly think that Javert has discovered him, and he flees with Cosette. As they leave, Enjolras rallies the Parisians to revolt, and Marius sends a farewell letter to Cosette.

The next day, the students interrupt Lamarque’s funeral procession and begin their assault. Javert, disguised as one of the rebels, spies among the revolutionaries, but is quickly exposed by Gavroche and captured. During the ensuing gunfight, Éponine saves Marius at the cost of her own life, professing her love to him before she dies. Valjean, intercepting the letter from Marius to Cosette, goes to the barricade to protect Marius. After saving Enjolras from snipers, he is allowed to execute Javert. When the two are alone, Valjean frees Javert and fires his gun to fake the execution. Initially disbelieving, Javert wonders at Valjean’s generosity.

With the Parisians not joining the revolution as the students expected, they resolve to fight to the death. Everyone is killed but Marius, who is saved when Valjean drags his unconscious body into the sewers. Thénardier, scavenging the dead bodies, steals Marius’s ring. Valjean recovers and escapes the sewers carrying Marius, but is confronted at the exit by Javert. Javert threatens to shoot Valjean if he doesn’t surrender, but Valjean ignores him. Unable to reconcile the conflict between his civil and moral duties, two things which he always considered the same, Javert commits suicide.

Later, Marius mourns for his friends but Cosette comforts him. Revealing his past to Marius, Valjean tells him he must leave because his presence endangers Cosette, and makes Marius promise never to tell her. Marius and Cosette marry; the Thénardiers crash the reception and testify that they saw Valjean carrying a murdered corpse in the sewers. Thénardier unwittingly shows Marius the ring that he stole from him as “proof.” Recognising the ring, Marius realises that it was Valjean who saved his life. Marius and Cosette rush to Valjean after being told his location by Thénardier.

As Valjean sits dying in a local convent, he perceives the spirit of Fantine appearing to take him to Heaven. Cosette and Marius rush in to bid farewell. Valjean hands Cosette his confession of his past life, and the spirits of Fantine and the Bishop guide him to paradise, where he joins the spirits of Enjolras, Éponine, Gavroche, and the other rebels at the barricade.

REVIEW:

My freshmen year of college, we opened our marching band show with the music from Les Miserables. It may come as a surprise to some, but up until a few minutes ago, I had no idea what the songs were that comprised that 2 1/2 minute medley. I just listened to it again, and found myself singing along, as if I knew the words as well as an Earth, Wind, & Fire song.

What is this about?

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, ‘Les Miserables’ travels with prisoner-on-parole, 24601, Jean Valjeun, as he runs from the ruthless Inspector Javert on a journey beyond the barricades, at the center of the June Rebellion. Meanwhile, the life of a working class girl with a child is at turning point as she turns to prostitution to pay money to the evil innkeeper and his wife who look after her child, Cosette. Valjean promise to take care of the child, eventually leads to a love triangle between Cosette, Marius who is a student of the rebellion, and Eponine, a girl of the streets. The people sing of their anger and Enjolras leads the students to fight upon the barricades.

What did I like?

Stage to screen. In the Golden Age of Hollywood, musicals were all the rage. Some of them were real close to their Broadway counterparts, while others shared only the name. I cannot say for certain, but it seems as if this film didn’t try to do anything special with the sets, other than find and/or build real life version of what was used in the stage version. You have to give them credit for that, as audiences these days want bigger, better, more, as opposed to simplistic and authentic.

Better than the rest. Earlier this year, when the Grammys were on, someone asked me, “I wonder how it feels to be Adele and know that you are hands down the most talented singer in that entire room, and probably the world?” The same thing can be said for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. They are far and away the most talented members of this cast, though, I see some budding young musical talent in Samantha Parks and Aaron Tveit.

Casting. In the good old days, actors were actually trained, as opposed to being picked up off the street because they had “the look”. This is how we got people like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Julie Andrews, Ginger Rogers, and their ilk. These talents were trained to not only act, but sing, and possibly dance. These days, that is such a rare occurrence, but Hugh Jackman has proven over the last few years, that it may be a good idea to go back to those days. This whole cast, with the exception of Russell Crowe, seems as if they were trained in musical theater. A couple of them, I know for sure, have been starring in London’s version of Broadway (I forgot what it is called, sorry). The one weak link is Russell Crowe. I’ll get to him shortly. Also, how perfect casting can you get than Anne Hathaway and Amanada Seyfreid. They both have those big “anime eyes” and could actually pass for mother and daughter because of some similar facial structure. Don’t forget young Cosette, who I think they did an exhaustive search to find someone who looks that much like Seyfreid. There is no way they could have been that lucky to have just come across her.

Dream. Susuan Boyle made us all sing “I Dreamed a Dream” all over the place a couple of years ago but, believe me when I say this, Anne Hathaway will blow you away with her rendition. Once you see the context in which that song is placed and watch Hathaway give, arguably, the performance of her career as she tears your heart out with each note, showing that she is more than a pretty face, but a true acting and singing talent.

What didn’t I like?

Length. I don’t believe they cut anything from the original stage version, so this is pretty much the same show you would see on Broadway, just on a grander scale, obviously. However, and this may because yesterday I sat through two nearly three hour movies and have a two more sitting in the living room waiting to be watched, but I felt that this was a scoche long. Having said that, I can’t really say where you could cut anything out.

Opera. Since there are very few lines not sung in this musical, some have called it an opera. I won’t go into a big spiel on the actual definition of an opera, but just because everyone is singing doesn’t make it an opera. Think about it like this, the Star Wars saga (that includes the prequels that people seem to hate so much) is often called a space opera, and other than that weird singing alien George Lucas added in to Jabba the Hutt’s palace, there is no singing, that I can recall, except the Ewok celebration after everything is over.

Opera mouth. Keeping on the subject of opera, I have to mention this because it sort of bugged me. Eddie Redmayne has some real chops, but he needs to do something about his facial movements when he sings. Watch a Broadway or opera singer perform, or you can watch Jessica Simpson sing, she does the same thing. You’ll notice that they move their mouth when they sing long notes, and so does Redmayne. It wouldn’t have been such a bother, except no one else does it!

Crowe. Russell Crowe impressed me with his singing skills. With this and his role in the upcoming Man of Steel, it looks like the guy is on his way to reviving his career. Here is the problem, though, his vocal chops don’t do him any good, especially against the likes of Jackman. He wasn’t as bad a Piece Brosnan in Mamma Mia!, but I still cannot help but think they should have gone with someone else. I’m sure Gerard Butler wouldn’t have minded dusting off his singing chops for this, or they could have gone with Paul Bettany, who was rumored to have originally been cast in the role.

Comic relief. I’m the last person to have issue with comic relief, especially in something that’s more on the serious side, as this film is. However, if you’re going to have comic relief, they cannot be a nuisance, but I found Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter’s characters to be nothing more than your typical lowlife vagrants. I’m not sure if that is how they are actually written in the book and/or musical, but I wasn’t a fan. Seems to me that they could have done something else, like be funny narrators, for instance.

Accents. This whole film is set in France, except maybe the opening scene, but I think that is just off the coast of France. At any rate, here we have these French people all speaking with British accents. I cannot be the only one that noticed this! I don’t get why they chose to give them all British accents. The little street urchin, Gavroche, has a cockney accent, as do the hookers and other peoples that mess chop off Fantine’s hair and send her to a life of, shall we say, less that wholesome living?

The few complaints that I have about Les Miserables are minor and can be considered nitpicky. I don’t intend to come off as if I didn’t enjoy the film, because I did. A few tweaks here and there and this very well could have been a stronger(er) contender for my top film of the year. I believe that the niche audience for this will not be disappointed and neither will the general public. This director was ale to find a way to please everyone. Maybe he should try his hand at a comic book movie! I highly recommend this, so go see it NOW!!!

5 out of 5 stars

Dark Shadows

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1760, the Collins family migrates to America from Liverpool and sets up a fishing port in Maine, naming it Collinsport. Some years later, the son, Barnabas (Johnny Depp), seduces his family’s maid, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), who is a witch. When he tells her he doesn’t love or want her, Angelique kills Barnabas’ parents. Barnabas then falls in love with Josette du Pres (Bella Heathcote). In a fit of jealousy, Angelique bewitches Josette into leaping from a cliff to her death. Barnabas leaps after her in grief, but he survives because Angelique turns him into an immortal vampire. She rouses a mob to capture and bury Barnabas alive in a chained coffin in the woods and curses his family.

One hundred ninety-six years later, in the year 1972, construction workers accidentally free Barnabas from his coffin, who slakes his two-century hunger by feeding on and killing his rescuers. He makes his way back to his manor to find it inhabited by his dysfunctional descendants and their servants—the family matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer); her brother Roger (Jonny Lee Miller); her 15-year-old daughter Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz); Roger’s 10-year-old son David (Gulliver McGrath); Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), David’s psychiatrist; Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley), the manor’s caretaker; and Victoria Winters (Heathcote), David’s newly-hired governess and Josette’s reincarnation. Upon convincing Elizabeth of his identity by revealing a secret treasure room behind the fireplace, Barnabas is allowed to stay under the condition that he never reveal either the room or the fact that he is a vampire to the rest of the family. He must also pretend to be a distant relative from England who has come to restore the family’s business and reputation in town. He soon becomes very deeply attracted to Victoria, whom he briefly mistakes for his lost Josette, and immediately begins to pursue her.

As Barnabas helps revitalize the Collins’ fishery and manor, he is approached by Angelique, who has used her powers to establish a successful rival fishery called Angel Bay. She tries to win him back, later convincing him to make wild, passionate love with her, but he still rejects her, telling her that he loves Victoria instead. He restores his family’s name by inviting the entire town to a party at the manor featuring Alice Cooper, where Victoria reveals to Barnabas that her parents committed her to an insane asylum as a child because she could see and talk to Josette’s ghost. They kiss and confess their feelings to each other, unknowingly enraging Angelique who has witnessed the scene. Meanwhile, Dr. Hoffman has discovered Barnabas’ true nature after hypnotizing him. She convinces him to try to turn himself back to a regular human via blood transfusions, but her real intent is to use his blood to turn herself into a vampire to avoid aging. Upon discovering this betrayal, Barnabas drains her to death and dumps her body into the ocean. Barnabas catches Roger trying to find the secret room and exposes Roger’s lack of interest in his son. Barnabas then gives him a choice of either staying and being a good father to David or leaving the family. Roger chooses to leave, deeply wounding his son’s feelings. Soon afterward, Barnabas rescues David from a falling disco ball and stumbles into a beam of sunlight, burning his skin and exposing his secret to the horrified children and Victoria.

Later that night, Angelique calls Barnabas into her office, coaxes him into confessing Dr. Hoffman’s murder, and traps him in another coffin that she leaves in his family’s crypt. She then burns down the Collins’ canning factory and plays a recording of the murder confession to the police and gathered townsfolk, once more turning them against the family. Angelique leads the mob to Collinwood manor to arrest the family, but Barnabas is rescued from the coffin by David and he shows up at the manor and attacks Angelique in front of the mob, thereby exposing both his and her true natures. As the townspeople disperse, Angelique sets fire to the manor and admits her role in the family’s curse, including turning Carolyn into a werewolf and killing David’s mother at sea. Barnabas and the Collins family fight Angelique until David summons his mother’s vengeful ghost. The ghost gives a single scream which knocks Angelique into a chandelier. Before she dies she pulls out her heart and offers it to Barnabas; he refuses the heart and it shatters as Angelique dies. Barnabas then discovers that Angelique has bewitched Victoria into jumping off the same cliff Josette did. Barnabas arrives moments before Victoria is about to jump and breaks her hypnosis, but she reveals she wanted to fall. She pleads with him to make her a vampire so that they can remain together forever, but he refuses. She then casts herself off, forcing him to follow and bite her to save her life, and Victoria wakes up as a vampire. As the two kiss on the rocks in the waves, the film ends with an underwater scene showing a school of fish swimming away from Hoffman, who suddenly revives because she’s a vampire .

REVIEW:

In the 60s, Dark Shadows was a cult soap opera with supernatural themes, similar to one we had not that long ago called Passions. I don’t believe the soap was terribly popular, but it did last a few seasons and has gone on to become a cult favorite. If you are a fan of the series, you have my deepest sympathies for what Tim Burton has done.

What is this about?

Tim Burton’s take on the cult gothic soap follows a centuries-old vampire as he returns to his now-crumbling estate to meet his modern descendants. But what he finds is a house full of secrets and shadows.

What did I like?

Vision. I don’t think that there is a Tim Burton flick that I don’t instantly fall in love with the contrast of light and dark. Well, maybe Alice in Wonderland, but the rest are a nice mix of bright-colored backgrounds with dark stories and characters. This contrast even goes as far as the makeup. The ruby-red lips that Dr. Hoffman and Angelique are sporting, as well as Hoffman’s red hair really stand out in this macabre, dreary town.

Depp. I have to give it up to Johnny Depp, he really creates a vampire that could be frightening, and yet likable. He’s an unapologetic, bloodthirsty, vengeful, lecherous member of the undead and makes no apologies for it. This is a stark contrast to the vampires that have been polluting the screens the past few years. Depp also knocks it out of the park with his acting. I was expecting another character with that same British accent he uses eveyrtime he plays someone from across the pond, such as Jack Sparrow or Sweeny Todd.

70s and new blood. The 70s setting makes for quite some interesting experiences for someone who lived in the 19th century. It is quite the culture shock, especially when you see someone names Alice Cooper, who turns out to be “one ugly woman”. The infusion of two new, extremely attractive actresses, as opposed to the same ones we’ve seen over and over again, Eva Green (Angelique) and Bella Heathcote (Maggie/Victoria/Josette), not to mention the growing star of Chloe Grace Moertz.

What didn’t I like?

Change. I’m torn as to what I think of the change in tone from the original series. On one hand, I enjoyed it, as a film by itself. However, I did watch some episodes of the series this summer, and there were very few things that resembled this film, or vice versa. As I said before, if you’re a fan of the series, I feel your pain for what Burton did to something you truly love. At least they kept the supernatural aspect intact, and the comedy bits add a little spice to it.

Angelique. As much as I was drooling over Eva Green, I wasn’t too fond of the character, Angelique. She is one of those that does nothing but use her feminine wiles and witchcraft to manipulate the town into loving her and doing her bidding, but when Barnabas returns from the grave, she knows it could all very well end, ironically by one of her “creations”. The cracking porcelain face was a nice touch, though.

Pick a genre. One critic said that this film couldn’t decide what genre it wanted to be, horror, comedy, drama, etc. I have to agree, though it wasn’t as much of a distraction for me. I would have liked for it to go full on comedy since that is the direction they chose to go, with a few horror and dram a elements. This is based on a soap opera and deals with vampires, after all.

Ending. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that it sets up very nicely for a sequel. The problem is, they kind of tip their hat a little early by showing something they shouldn’t have while this particular character is getting killed. I guess that is more of a goof than a complaint…for now.

Dark Shadows provides some nice entertainment and will probably go on to be a cult favorite in years to come. The film was labeled as a flop this summer, but it came out the week after The Avengers, which went on to be #1 for like close to two months. I think this would have done better being released around Halloween. Do I recommend it? Yeah, this is one of those film you can start off your scary movie parties with as a warm-up, or if you’re into the horror comedy thing, couple this with something like Fido, This definitely worth checking out and is better than people give it credit for. Admittedly, I think I liked it more than I should have!

4 out of 5 stars

The King’s Speech

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film opens with Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), known to his wife and family as “Bertie” (played by Colin Firth), the second son of King George V, speaking at the close of the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium, with his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) by his side. His stammering speech visibly unsettles the thousands of listeners in the audience. The duke tries several unsuccessful treatments and gives up, until his wife persuades him to see Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian speech therapist in London. In their first session, Logue requests that they address each other by their Christian names, a breach of royal etiquette – and Logue tells the duke that he will be calling him by his family name, Bertie, from here on. At first, Bertie is reluctant to receive treatment. Logue bets Bertie a shilling that he can read perfectly at that very moment, and gives him Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” soliloquy to read aloud, which he does while listening to loud music on headphones. Logue records Bertie’s reading on a gramophone record, but convinced that he has stammered throughout, Bertie leaves in a huff, declaring his condition “hopeless.” Logue offers him the recording as a keepsake.

After King George V (Michael Gambon) makes his 1934 Christmas address, he explains to Bertie the importance of broadcasting for the modern monarchy in a perilous international situation, declares that “David” (Edward, the Prince of Wales, played by Guy Pearce), Bertie’s older brother, will bring ruin to the family and the country when he is king, and demands that Bertie train himself to fill in – starting with himself practising reading his father’s speech. After an agonising attempt to do so, Bertie plays Logue’s recording and hears himself making an unbroken recitation of Shakespeare. He returns to Logue, and they work together on muscle relaxation and breath control, while Logue gently probes the psychological roots of the stammer, much to Bertie’s embarrassment. Bertie soon reveals some of the pressures of his childhood: his strict father; the repression of his natural left-handedness; a painful treatment with metal splints for his knock-knees; a nanny who favoured his elder brother, pinched him to make him cry, and did not feed him adequately (“It took my parents three years to notice,” says Bertie); and the early death in 1919 of his little brother Prince John. As the treatment progresses, Lionel and Bertie become friends and confidants.

On 20 January 1936, George V dies, and David accedes to the throne as King Edward VIII, still wanting to marry Wallis Simpson (Eve Best), a divorced American socialite. At a party in Balmoral Castle, Bertie points out that Edward cannot marry a divorced woman and retain the throne; Edward accuses his brother of a medieval-style plot to usurp his throne, citing Bertie’s speech lessons as an attempt to ready himself and resurrecting his childhood taunt of “B-B-B-Bertie”.

At his next session, Bertie has not forgotten the incident. He is most aggravated by being able to more or less speak without stammering to everyone except his own brother. Logue, noticing that when he curses he does not stammer, has him say every swear word he can think of. After doing so, Bertie briefs him on the extent of David’s folly with Wallis Simpson, Logue insists that Bertie could be king. Outraged, Bertie accuses Logue of treason and mocks Logue’s failed acting career and humble origins, causing a rift in their friendship. When King Edward VIII does in fact abdicate to marry, Bertie becomes King George VI. The new king realises that he needs Logue’s help; he and the queen visit the Logues’ residence to apologise. When the king insists that Logue be seated in the king’s box during his coronation in Westminster Abbey, Dr Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Derek Jacobi), questions Logue’s qualifications. This prompts another confrontation between the king and Logue, who explains he had begun by treating shell-shocked soldiers in the last war. When the king still isn’t convinced about his own strengths, Logue sits in King Edward’s Chair and dismisses the Stone of Scone as a trifle. The king remonstrates with Logue for his disrespect, surprising himself at his own sudden eloquence, which Logue had provoked.

Upon the September 1939 declaration of war with Germany, Bertie summons Logue to Buckingham Palace to help him prepare for his radio speech to Britain and the Empire. As the king and Logue move through the palace to a tiny studio, Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall) reveals to the king that he, too, had once had a speech impediment but had found a way to use it to his advantage. As millions of people listen to their radios, the king delivers his speech as if to Logue, who coaches him throughout. As Logue watches, the king steps onto the balcony of the palace with his family, where thousands of Londoners, who had gathered in the streets to hear the speech over loudspeakers, cheer and applaud him.

A final title card explains that, during the many speeches King George VI gave during World War II, Logue was always present. It also notes that in 1944 the king made Logue a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of Logue’s personal service to the Monarch. The final card states that Bertie and Logue remained friends for the rest of their lives

REVIEW:

When awards season rolled around, all the buzz was about how The King’s Speech was going to sweep everything, and sure enough it did. Now, if you’re familiar with m views on pictures that win these awards, you know that I believe there is a disconnect between the voters and the viewers, however, in a manner similar to recent best picture films such as American Beauty and Slumdog Millionaire, this film actually is worthy of its awards and accolades.

The plot of this biopic follows the struggle of King George VI and his stammering problem, culminating in his speech on the radio that ushered Great Britain into World War II. Along the way we watch as the king (duke in the first half of the picture) also deals with this emotional issues, such as deep seeded family issues and his uncomfortableness with this stammer. Not to mention the fact that he seems to not really be comfortable having a friend, let alone one that is not only beneath him, but also an Australian.

The story is magnificently represented on the screen and the audience really feels for Bertie and at times for Logue. I, for one, did not think they could take a story about someone with a stammer, even if they are part of the royal family, and turn it into a watchable, let alone award-winning picture.

Anytime you have a biopic, it is always fun to point out notable figures in history. In this film, aside from King George, we have the Queen Mother, before she became the Queen Mother, of course, played by a shockingly normal looking Helena Bonham Carter. Winston Churchill is also in here played by Timothy Spall, who either was wearing a fat suit (not like he’s exactly skin and bones), or packed on a stone or two. Lastly, the queen herself is in here…just as a child. Sadly, no Helen Mirren to be found, but this little girl did give the character as much grace as her in The Queenwell, as best she could with the handful of lines she had.

The performances speak for themselves. I don’t think there was a weak link in the cast, but if there was one that was exceptionally strong, it would have to be Colin Firth as Bertie. to be able to convey the speech impediment and those emotion as well as he did was truly remarkable.

I’m not really a fan of heavy dramas like this, but I did find myself riveted by The King’s Speech, especially when it came down to the end of the film and he was giving the titular speech as the entire country, and world listened. That has to be one of the more touching scenes in today’s cinema, especially if you get the emotion tied into it by viewing the entire picture. This film winning Best Picture and all those other awards was definitely no fluke. Sure, there are no giant robots or CG cars or aliens, but it just goes to show you that sometimes the best film are those that focus strictly on the acting. I highly recommend this to you all!

5 out of 5 stars

Terminator Salvation

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 2003, Doctor Serena Kogan (Helena Bonham Carter) of Cyberdyne Systems convinces death row inmate Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) to sign his body over for medical research following his execution by lethal injection. One year later the Skynet system is activated, perceives humans as a threat to its own existence, and eradicates much of humanity in the event known as “Judgment Day” (as depicted in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines).

In 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale) leads a Resistance attack on a Skynet base. John discovers human prisoners and schematics for a new type of Terminator incorporating living tissue, but he is the only apparent survivor of the attack after the base is destroyed in a nuclear explosion. However, Marcus emerges from the wreckage of the base and proceeds on foot to Los Angeles.

John returns to Resistance headquarters located aboard a nuclear submarine and tells General Ashdown (Michael Ironside), the current leader, of his discovery. Meanwhile, the Resistance has discovered a radio frequency believed to be capable of sending an order to shut down Skynet machines. They plan to launch an offensive against the Skynet base in San Francisco in four days, in response to an intercepted “kill list” indicating that Skynet plans to kill the Resistance’s command staff in a week’s time. John learns that his own name is second on the list, following a civilian named Kyle Reese. The Resistance leaders are unaware of Kyle’s importance, but John knows that it is because Kyle will later become his father (as depicted in The Terminator). John meets with his wife Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard) and his subordinate Barnes (Common), and transmits a radio broadcast to Resistance members and surviving civilians around the world.

Arriving in the ruins of Los Angeles, Marcus is saved from a T-600 Terminator by Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) and his mute child companion Star (Jadagrace Berry). Kyle informs Marcus about the war between humans and Skynet. Hearing John’s radio broadcast, the three leave Los Angeles in search of the Resistance. They survive an attack, but Kyle, Star, and several other humans are taken prisoner.

Two Resistance A-10 airplanes are shot down when they try to intercept the machine transport and its escorts. Marcus locates downed pilot Blair Williams (Moon Bloodgood) and they make their way to John’s base, but Marcus is wounded by a magnetic land mine. Attempting to save his life, the Resistance fighters discover that he is in fact a cyborg, with a mechanical endoskeleton, circuitry, and a partially artificial cerebral cortex. Marcus believes himself to be human, but John thinks that Marcus has been sent to kill him, and orders his destruction. However, Blair helps Marcus escape from the base. During the pursuit, Marcus saves John’s life from Skynet hydrobots, and the two make a bargain: Marcus will enter Skynet’s headquarters and attempt to help John rescue Kyle and the other prisoners.

John pleads with Ashdown to delay the attack, but Ashdown refuses and relieves John of his command. However, the Resistance forces disobey Ashdown’s orders and await John’s signal. Marcus enters the base, interfaces with the computer, and disables the perimeter defenses so that John can infiltrate the cell block and release the human prisoners. Marcus discovers that he was created by Skynet in order to lure John to the base; when the Resistance launches its attack, John will be killed, achieving the goal that Skynet had failed to accomplish so many times. The radio signal that the Resistance’s plan depends on is a ruse. Skynet uses the signal to track down and destroy the command submarine with the Resistance leaders aboard.

Marcus tears out the hardware linking him to Skynet and assists John in battling a new T-800 model 101 Terminator. John is mortally wounded during the fight, but succeeds in destroying the Skynet base by rigging several Terminator fuel cells to explode, detonating them as he, Marcus, Kyle, and Star are airlifted out. Kate attempts to save John’s life, but his heart is too damaged. Marcus offers his own heart for transplant, sacrificing himself to save John. Recovering, John radios to the other Resistance fighters that though this battle has been won, the war is far from over.

REVIEW:

 Following Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, anyone with half a brain just knew that the franchise was done…right? Well, someone decided that there needed to be another one. –rolls eyes–

Terminator Salvation takes us into the future, where John Connor isn’t quite the leader of the resistance and the T-800 Terminator’s are just being created. In other words, with this film, they were hoping they could drag it out and make some serious bank, forcing the studios to do as many as they can until we get John Connor to lead the resistance.

This franchise very well should have ended with Terminator 2: Judgement Day, if you ask me. With these last two films, all they seem to have been doing is making a sad attempt to milk the proverbial cow, at the expense of what was once a great group of characters.

That little rant aside, what is this “chapter” about? Well, we are now in the year 2018, and John Connor is fighting with the Resistance. That’s about 90% of the movie, right there. The interesting part, though, is that there is this random guy who we saw killed at the beginning of the film, in 2003, suddenly going around helping people, namely Kyle Reese.

I had avoided this picture, mainly because I think Christian Bale should rot in the deepest pit in hell hanging by the tips of his fingernails while each millimeter of his skin is pulled of slowly. Can you tell I’m not a fan of Bale?

It turns out that aside from being an obvious ploy to milk the franchise that this film wasn’t as bad as I thought. Strangely enough, though, the special effects were better in the original The Terminator, which is quite said when you think about how a film from the early 80s has better effects than something from 2009.

The action here is ok, but it just seems like its something we’ve seen before, especially the climactic battle. Do we really need to see another terminator battle in a factory?!?

I’ve already mention my hatred for Bale, so you can guess how glad I was that he wasn’t really featured as much as one would think John Connor would be.

Sam Worthington, who, up until now, I thought was nothing more than just some random action guy they plucked out of Australia, was quite impressive as Marcus. Not only did he make you belive he didn’t know he was a Terminator, but his emotions toward Blair, and something he does at the end really make endear him to the audience.

Anton Yelchin has really come a long way as an actor since I first saw him in Charlie Bartlett. The guy plays a young Kyle Reese here. It is obvious he did his research on the previous gy to play Kyle. Many of the mannerisms are there, along with his own interpretation of the character.

Bryce Dallas Howard doesn’t really do much here except look pregnant and be a doctor, however, she isn’t a downgrade from Claire Danes. If anything, she may, in fact, be an upgrade.

Moon Bloodgood seems to be the Sarah Connor type, except she actually seems to have feelings, as proven when she releases Marcus. How dare a woman show emotion in this franchise, right?

Helena Bonham Carter is in this weird role as the creator, I guess, of the terminators was odd, bt made sense.

If you’ve ever seen The Matrix: Revolutions, then you know the kind of anticlimactic tone that happens when you see the world that the antagonists have been coming from. That is the kind of vibe this film has.

Sure, its cool to see this word in flashbacks and all, but to have an entire film set in this apocalyptic world just takes something away from what the first two film left us in shock and awe about.

Before I conclude this post, I have to say that there is one really cool effect. We see the beginning of the T-800 model terminators. As you know, this is the model that was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the time this was filmed, he was governing California, and let’s face it, he doesn’t have the body he did back in ’85, so the got some actor and CGI Arnold’s face. It really is a cool effect, and I actually got chills when he showed up and they played the Terminator theme. Definitely the highlight of the film.

So, what is the final verdict on Terminator Salvation? Well, if this was supposed to be the salvation of the franchise, it is doomed. While there were terminators abound, it just didn’t have the feel of a Terminator film. I made the comparison to the third Matrix film earlier. That film didn’t feel like a Matrix flick, either. Should you watch this, is the big question? Look, if you’re a Terminator fan, it won’t hurt. It actually isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be, bt don’t expect the greatness of the first two films.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars